The main soil forming processes are examined and the role of both organic matter and clay minerals in soil processes and properties explored. Field soil assessment and classification skills are developed and methods for the examination of soil invertebrates introduced. The main concepts and methods used to assess soil physical and chemical properties are introduced, as is the use of soil moisture characteristics for the prediction of water movement. The behaviour of soil nutrients is examined.
The unit will cover the following topics (not necessarily in the order presented) which will be dealt with in the topic notes, readings, laboratory notes and in the field:
- soil and its constituents
- soil physical properties: texture, structure
- soil water
- soil organic matter
- soil and clay mineralogy
- soil and plant nutrition: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and trace elements
- soil formation
- soil classification
- soil biology.
Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.
Learning outcomes and graduate attributes
|On completion of this unit, students should be able to:||GA1||GA2||GA3||GA4||GA5||GA6||GA7|
|1||describe the main soil forming processes||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline||Communication and social skills|
|2||describe the role of organic matter and clay minerals in soil processes and properties||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline||Communication and social skills|
|3||discuss the role of the major soil nutrients in plant nutrition and outline the main plant nutrient cycles||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline||Communication and social skills|
|4||assess soil structure, texture and consistence in the field sufficient to enable soil classification||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline||Communication and social skills|
|5||demonstrate soil surveying technique||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline|
|6||discuss the use of soil classification systems in general and understand the features of a range of soil classification systems as well as classify soils according to two major Australian soil classification systems||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline||Communication and social skills|
|7||describe some important soil chemical and physical processes and properties||Intellectual rigour||Knowledge of a discipline||Communication and social skills|
- No prescribed texts.
Teaching and assessment
Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2016 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2
Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.